The latest update as of July 20, 2001
Time's running short today already, so I'll just post the following blurb
out of today's Vancouver Province newspaper, regarding this weekend's Canadian
National Open at Mission Raceway Park. The weather forecast looks great for
the next few days, so we should be able to see some great racing from the
Thunder Trucks of Vicki Fanning and Mike Wade; the Street Legal cars of Glenn
Braid and Don Murray; the Nitro Harleys and the blown alcohol dragsters and
funny cars. Plus the usual supporting cast of hundreds.
Lady driver pilots Top Fuel Truck
Vicki Fanning is one fast lady. As the driver of the "Udder Nonsense"
Dodge Dakota Top Fuel Thunder Truck, one of the nitro-powered exhibition
vehicles coming to Mission Raceway Park this weekend, she regularly pilots
her 6,000 horsepower machine to low six-second elapsed times at speeds
approaching 250 miles per hour.
Along with her husband, Brent, Vicky is part of a two-vehicle exhibition
feature that is currently touring across North America. Based out of Stephenville,
Texas, Brent and Vicky have been racing together for the last quarter century.
Starting with Bracket cars in the early '70s, they moved up to build their
first nitro-powered car, a dragster, in 1977. In the early '80s, they constructed
a radical rocket-powered funny car and along with driver and partner Larry
Bostich, appeared at tracks across the U.S., running at speeds up to 300 mph,
which was 50 mph faster than any of the Top Fuel Dragsters of that time.
By the late '80s, Brent and Vicky had built a new Nitro Funny Car and in
1993, they decided on a uniquely different theme. Being dairy farmers for 20
years, they painted the car black and white like one of their Holstein milk
cows and named it "The Udder Car". The cow-flavoured paint theme was an instant
hit and is remembered to this day by both fans and media.
In 1995, after years of behind-the-scenes support and being an active member
of the crew, Vicky decided to try her hand at wheeling the Funny Car, earning
her licence late that same year.
At the same time, the team added a Top Fuel Dragster to its stable and Vicky
got her Top Fuel licence in 1996. This gave her the distinction of being one
of only two women in the world to hold both licences simultaneously. She ran
the NHRA national event circuit for the next few years and, until August, 1999
held the record for the fastest speed recorded by a woman, at 281 mph.
Currently, Vicky has taken over driving responsibilities for the Udder
Nonsense Team, with J.R.'s son, Mike Wade, now behind the wheel of the Chevy
S-10 Thunder Truck.
You can see Mike and Vicky, driving their Top Fuel Nitro machine, along
with Pro Street cars and dragsters, plus more than 400 NHRA class cars this
weekend at the Canadian National Open drag racing event at Mission Raceway
Park. For more information, phone (604) 826-6315. For more information on
the Thunder Trucks, check out the
Udder Nonsense website.
We'll be out there all weekend, with the trusty Optura, snapping heaps of
pics, soaking up the nitro and alky fumes, and just generally getting in the
way of everyone and asking them all sorts of the usual stupid questions. The
event also corresponds with the publication date of the latest issue of
SpeedZone magazine, which has, as usual, wasted
more expensive ink and paper with my latest scribblings. If you're out at MRP,
look for a copy of the magazine and read the latest news from the Northwest
drag racing world.
The next update should be tomorrow (Saturday) night... late, of course.
We'll try to get at least some of the photos posted and cover the day's highlights
and give a preview of what you can expect to see on Sunday. Stay tuned.